Jetstar cancels flights due to volcanic eruption in Indonesia

July 3, 2015 10:46 am 

SYDNEY, July 3 — Qantas Airways' low-cost subsidiary Jetstar has caused air travel chaos in Australia on Friday, canceling flights to and from Indonesia because of a volcanic eruption.

Mount Ruang Volcano, 150 km away from Denpasar of Indonesia, erupted at 5 p.m. local time Thursday.

"Jetstar has this evening canceled a number of flights in and out of Bali as the ash cloud from the Mount Raung eruption in Indonesia drifts toward Denpasar International Airport," the airline said Thursday night.

"We are closely monitoring the weather conditions and will provide further updates on the impact to flights."

Nine flights have been grounded, including Jetstar's Singapore-Denpasar route.

Two flights that departed Sydney and Melbourne bound for Denpasar were forced to return.

Jetstar's main Australian rival Virgin Australia did not take the same measures.

"We are currently operating on schedule on Denpasar routes," a Virgin Australia spokesman told reporters on Friday. "Safety is always our highest priority and we are closely monitoring the situation to ensure our flights are unaffected by any ash emanating from Mt. Raung."

Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Center told local media that there weren't a lot of emissions from the volcano due to the eruption type.

"In fact the ash emissions were so thin that they weren't able to be identified by satellite imagery," a spokesperson said. "We were receiving pictures just showing a sort of thin cigarette-like plume from the volcano."

Qantas Airways' route to Jakarta was unaffected. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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